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Stern MBAs win Cable Interacts Interactive Launch Competition

MBAs win Cable Interacts Interactive Launch Competition_article

The Stern team demonstrated a savvy comprehension of the cable industry, creativity in a recommended strategy and a professional and audience-compelling presentation to sweep the competition and win first prize by unanimous vote.

On November 28, 2012, a team of five NYU Stern MBA students won the first place $2,000 prize in the second annual Cable Interacts Interactive Launch Competition. Kibi Anderson, Ben Colman, Joshua Cohen, Austin Clements and Taj Corinaldi, advised by Professor Alvin Lieberman, competed against teams from Columbia Business School, MIT Sloan, Georgetown McDonough School of Business, Boston University School of Management and Howard University School of Business.

Each MBA team was assigned to a sponsor who is a leader in the TV, media or related technology space. Sponsoring companies included HBO, InDemand, SeaChange, Synacor, Rovi, Arris and The Platform. Teams were tasked with creating a marketing plan and launch strategy for an actual new product, service or app being launched by their sponsor. NYU Stern's team was paired with InDemand, a Tribeca-based video-on-demand (VOD) company co-owned by Comcast, TWC and Cox, and worked with Senior Vice President of Marketing Lauren LoFrisco, a cable TV veteran. InDemand President Robert Benya (BS ’83), who spoke at the event, had requested to sponsor Stern’s team because of student interest in the rapidly growing and evolving cable industry.

The team won the competition with their marketing plan for a multi-platform family-friendly VOD service called “InDemand Generations.” “We unanimously decided to take a calculated risk in proposing a strategy to target interactive programming toward the fast-growing demographic of immigrant families,” describes team-member Ben Colman.

Professor Lieberman describes some unique challenges the team faced: “The team began their briefing and brainstorming literally one day before Superstorm Sandy knocked out power, water, phones, electric and home computers. So with difficult and extenuating circumstances and less than half the allotted time of the other teams, the Stern team demonstrated a savvy comprehension of the cable industry, creativity in a recommended strategy and a professional and audience-compelling presentation to sweep the competition and win first prize by unanimous vote.” Ben adds, “Our confidence during the Q&A session provided a special edge."